In addition to dealing with the day-to-day consequences of a service-connected disability, Veterans may find further difficulties when planning for the future by purchasing life insurance. Private insurance companies may demand a higher premium from you as a result of your disabilities. The Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance program was developed to ensure that our Veterans have access to affordable life insurance regardless of their service-connected condition.
There are a few eligibility requirements a Veteran must meet in order to qualify to purchase S-DVI. To meet the eligibility criteria, a Veteran must:
An application must be filed within two years from the date of the grant of a new service-connected disability. A grant of total disability based on individual unemployability does not qualify unless the same rating decision granted a new service-connected disability as well.
First and foremost, the S-DVI program allows a Veteran to purchase lower-cost life insurance when other private insurance providers may decline to insure or charge a much higher rate. The insurance may be purchased in increments of $500 and policies range from $1,000 to $10,000.
Several different plans are available for purchase through S-DVI, including term life, ordinary life, modified life, and endowment plans. VA Pamphlet 29-9 provides more in-depth descriptions of the individual plans and their corresponding rates.
Premiums may be waived if you become totally disabled prior to your 65th birthday and remain totally disabled for 6 months or more. Once your waiver of premiums is received and approved, you will not have to pay for premiums so long as you remain totally disabled. Additionally, if you are eligible for a waiver of premiums, you have one year from the date of waiver to apply for Supplemental S-DVI (you must still be under 65 years old). The premiums for supplemental coverage are not waived, but you will be eligible for up to $30,000 in additional coverage.
The application process is determined by the type of coverage you wish to purchase. For S-DVI coverage, there is an online application found at: https://www.insurance.va.gov/sdvi. Alternatively, you may fill out VA Form 29-4364 – Application for Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance. To apply for Supplemental S-DVI, you must fill out VA Form 29-0188 – Application for Supplemental Service-Disabled Veterans (RH) Life Insurance.
At Berry Law, we are committed to helping Veterans when they return home from service. If you have been denied disability benefits or were given a poor rating by the VA, we can help. Contact an experienced Veterans disability benefits lawyer on our team today to see how Berry Law can assist you in your fight for disability compensation.
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